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Daily Digest - Nov 28

Friday, November 28, 2008, 9:15 AM

GM asks for flight anonymity, a deadly shopping stampede, Robert Shiller interview, US credit line at risk?, and an interview with Jeremy Grantham. 

Economy

GM Asks U.S. FAA to Bar Public Tracking of Leased Corporate Jet 

Nov. 27 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Corp., criticized by U.S. lawmakers for its use of corporate jets, asked aviation regulators to block the public's ability to track a plane it uses. 

"We availed ourselves of the option as others do to have the aircraft removed" from a Federal Aviation Administration tracking service, a GM spokesman, Greg Martin, said yesterday in an interview. He declined to discuss why GM made the request.

Flight data show that the leased Gulfstream Aerospace G-IV jet flew Nov. 18 from Detroit to Washington, where Chief Executive Officer Richard Wagoner Jr. spoke to a Senate committee that day and a House panel the next day on behalf of a $25 billion auto-industry rescue plan.

Wal-Mart Worker Dies in New York ‘Black Friday’ Store Stampede

Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) -- A worker at a Wal-Mart in Long Island, New York, was killed when a throng of shoppers broke down the doors to the store early this morning and knocked him to the ground, according to local police and the company.

The event involved a temporary worker and was “a tragic situation,” Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s biggest retailer, said in a statement. “The safety and security of our customers and associates is our top priority.”

At least four other shoppers were hurt in the melee at the Valley Stream store, about 13 miles (20 kilometers) east of New York City, Nassau County Police said in a statement. The injured include a 28-year-old pregnant woman who was taken to a nearby hospital for observation and three people who suffered minor wounds, police said.

 

Shiller: Years and Years

 

Uncle Sam's Credit Line Running Out?

It may finally be catching up with Uncle Sam. That's what the yield curve may be whispering. But some economists are too deaf, or dumb, to get it.

 

Wealth Track 11/21/2008

A Jeremy Grantham interview by Consuelo Mack. [note: ~1.5 minutes of ads to get through before the video begins].

 

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10 Comments

joemanc's picture
joemanc
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 16 2008
Posts: 834
Re: Daily Digest - Nov 28

 

It may finally be catching up with Uncle Sam. That's what the yield curve may be whispering. But some economists are too deaf, or dumb, to get it.

 

In a recent Bloomberg interview I watched with Jim Rogers, Rogers indicated that he heard that our biggest creditors, China, Japan, Korea, etc, would stop buying our debt around March or April of next year. Bernanke better hope that Santa brings him a few more printing presses for the new year.

The.Techno.Luddite's picture
The.Techno.Luddite
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 26 2008
Posts: 34
Re: Daily Digest - Nov 28

My immediate reaction to seeing news of the shopping stomping and other chaos and injuries this morning:

 

Shame

people stomping on other people
to shop
first deal hunter in the door
smiling, pride putting fists in air
like a great athlete victorious across the line
or warrior successfully defending their family
or an inventor hit with a brilliant idea
but these days?
simply the first person in line
at a stores doors.
crowds stomping across broken glass
and bodies
smiling and flush with victory

No great piece of work to be sure, but I find it a little cathartic sometimes to rant without punctuation!

I can't help but reflect though, how would we treat each other in soup or bread lines these days? If true desperation were at hand for people?

mainecooncat's picture
mainecooncat
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 7 2008
Posts: 488
Re: Daily Digest - Nov 28

I approve of your rant, Luddite!

The.Techno.Luddite wrote:

I can't help but reflect though, how would we treat each other in soup or bread lines these days? If true desperation were at hand for people?

I've had this same exact reaction to the events of today. Also, to the various fist fights that broke out in the South during some of the gas lines this fall. People basically freak out during non-emergencies because of the tiniest of inconveniences. So, as you ponder, how will they act during a legitimate emergency? The inevitable answer to this question is downright ominous.

MarkM's picture
MarkM
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 22 2008
Posts: 837
Re: Daily Digest - Nov 28
mainecooncat wrote:

I approve of your rant, Luddite!

The.Techno.Luddite wrote:

I can't help but reflect though, how would we treat each other in soup or bread lines these days? If true desperation were at hand for people?

I've had this same exact reaction to the events of today. Also, to the various fist fights that broke out in the South during some of the gas lines this fall. People basically freak out during non-emergencies because of the tiniest of inconveniences. So, as you ponder, how will they act during a legitimate emergency? The inevitable answer to this question is downright ominous.

 

Maine, my thoughts mirror yours.  These reports of chaos simply to get the latest widget at the best prices are chilling to me.  I am very close to throwing in the towel with regard to my hopes for the future of this country.  I saw two pictures of separate events and all I could do was shake my head.  Very discouraging.

daleasberry's picture
daleasberry
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 29 2008
Posts: 28
Re: Daily Digest - Nov 28

I continue to be dumbfounded by those who say they were "surprised".  I've known this was going to occur for nearly four years now and I had no special knowledge other than I didn't buy into the "it's always going up!" mindset. Meh.

mainecooncat's picture
mainecooncat
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 7 2008
Posts: 488
Re: Daily Digest - Nov 28

Amen, daleasberry. Don't even get me goin' on the whole "surprised" lie.

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: Daily Digest - Nov 28

Amen here too....  I actually discovered Limits to Growt waaaay back in about 1995.  The book was lent to me by someone who thought it was a whole lot of crap!  Then, I met Ted Trainer (http://socialwork.arts.unsw.edu.au/tsw/) after reading his book "Abandon Affluence".  That, for me, was as much a life changing event as the Crash Course...

I think that what surprises people is the sudden 'filling of the baseball stadium' effect of exponential growth...  you know, 5 minutes before the stadium finally fills up as you are shackled to the top row of seats, there is still barely a trickle of water of the bottom.... no one really gets that until they take the time to study it, or see the explanation in the Crash Course.

Well, the water's lapping at our feet, and we have less than 30 seconds to work out how to open the shackles.... 

srbarbour's picture
srbarbour
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 23 2008
Posts: 148
Re: Daily Digest - Nov 28
Quote:

I've had this same exact reaction to the events of today. Also, to the
various fist fights that broke out in the South during some of the gas
lines this fall. People basically freak out during non-emergencies
because of the tiniest of inconveniences. So, as you ponder, how will
they act during a legitimate emergency? The inevitable answer to this
question is downright ominous.

Don't we already have a recent example?  Hurricane Katrina.

Though admittedly, I'd bet that 90% of those horrible horrible looters (who were taking stuff the businesses no doubt wrote off as insurance losses anyway) were just scavenging up what they needed at the time.   Then, like usual, the media focused on the one or two examples of the worst offenders and then portrayed the whole group as being exactly the same.  

 

In anycase, this scenario is a predictable and inevitable result.  Herding instincts that result in the trampling of various living beings occur in many species, and while we humans often endeavor to rise above our natures, we are in the end animals.   No doubt nobody wanted to trample the fellow, but rather a hundred ignorant people jammed up behind didn't understand what was happening and just kept pushing forward.

What is far more disturbing though, is that these retailers have intentionally created a system that encourages this dangerous behavior.   Further, despite years, and years of various incidents, have refrained from doing anything about it.

--

Steve 

mainecooncat's picture
mainecooncat
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 7 2008
Posts: 488
Re: Daily Digest - Nov 28
srbarbour wrote:

What is far more disturbing though, is that these retailers have intentionally created a system that encourages this dangerous behavior.   Further, despite years, and years of various incidents, have refrained from doing anything about it.

  

 

Exactly.

We had a bunch of family and friends over last night, and some of them were watching some reality show that was a collection of such non-fatal instances. Your comment above was echoed a half-dozen times at least. And all of us said, I can't believe more people aren't killed doing such things. When I saw the headline today my jaw dropped. Yet I couldn't really be surprised.

nodebthere's picture
nodebthere
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 17 2008
Posts: 22
Re: Daily Digest - Nov 28

The story I read of those mindless drones stampeding through the doors and trampling that innocent employee to get what they wanted NOW reminds me of America's foreign policy.

So why should we be shocked and surprised that those "people" who obviously crawled out from the shallow end of the gene pool would act like that. The US administration has been modelling this attitude for years. We call it "learned behavior".

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